Affording a Tampa Criminal Attorney
Hiring a Tampa criminal lawyer normally cost a fortune especially the private criminal lawyers. In case that you can't afford to hire a private one, there is an option of requesting a court appointed attorney. But you must prove that you are eligible to be provided by an attorney to defend you.
For most people affording a Tampa criminal attorney is an expensive venture, usually because criminal cases are lengthy and require many hours of work on the part of the attorney. If you cannot afford a private criminal attorney then you may have the right to a court-appointed attorney which is paid for by the state. It is every citizens right within the United States to have free legal counsel, however the requirements to qualify for this will vary from state to state.
If you find that you cannot afford to hire a private Tampa criminal attorney and do not wish to go down the route of representing yourself, then you can request a court appointed attorney at the pre-trial hearing. You may be asked to fill in a questionnaire and provide details about your financial affairs in order for the court to determine if you are eligible under state law. If you are eligible, then an attorney will be appointed to you there and then. At each stage of the trial the judge will inform the court that the defendant has free legal counsel, what the cost is and that the state is paying the bill.
In some states the appointment of a court appointed attorney could be delayed until you have been cleared as eligible. Once an attorney has been appointed to you, you cannot change legal counsel unless you are able to afford a private criminal attorney at a later date. You may be able to request a change of counsel by the judge if you can prove that the court appointed attorney is not working within your best interests or has committed serious malpractice. Even then the judge may still decline your request. If you can come to an agreement with your legal counsel, then they may request to be relieved of your case and someone else appointed.
Aside from the financial aspects of your circumstances, your application for a court appointed attorney may be turned down on the basis that the charges you are facing are only minor and that as you are employed you will be able to afford private representation. Simply because a case is lengthy and complex does not always mean you will be eligible either, and in some instances the judge may rule that you are not eligible for free state paid representation, but instead are eligible for partial indigency where the state will meet only part of the cost of legal representation and at the conclusion of the case you will be asked to pay back part of this cost.
Before you begin making enquiries with a Tampa criminal attorney is can be worthwhile familiarizing yourself with the ways in which attorneys calculate their fees. Some will charge an hourly rate for billable hours and others will charge a fixed fee for which an upfront retainer must be paid. It is often possible to negotiate on fees, but you should be aware that criminal cases are lengthy and complex and as such your attorney will need to put in a lot of hours preparing your case.
Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Julianne Mayers writes for a living. She mainly focuses on Law and other legal matters.